March 14-After months of uncertainty over the leadership of Europe’s largest economy, the German Bundestag voted 364-315 in favor of giving Angela Merkel a fourth term as chancellor.
A coalition of her own Christian Democratic Union and the Social Democratic Party elected her today after a standoff among six parties won support in the general election in September.
Since Merkel first won the position in 2005, she has wielded a great deal of influence over European Union policy. She advocated for open intra-European borders and migration from abroad, against criticism from far-right nationalists in Germany and Europe.
During Merkel’s last major policy speech in January, she called on Europe to take its own destiny within its hands in regards to the digital economy, defense and foreign policy.
Macron’s Rising Star
Meanwhile, while Merkel has struggled to maintain strength in domestic politics, France’s new leader has gained leverage.
Between the uncertainty over German leadership and the pending exit of Britain from the European Union, French President Emmanuel Macron has taken on greater influence. In September, Macron outlined his vision for buffering European democracy against the forces of globalization in a way that supports global engagement. Among a list of policy ideas and goals, Macron called for developing a common defense system, cybersecurity protections, a new energy policy, more aid for populations affected by trade, and migration policy reforms.
Macron’s cornerstone policy speech at the Sorbonne University last September is available in French.by eu, germany, macron, merkel